GUILTY UK - Bernadette Walker, 17, murdered then hidden, Peterborough, 18 Jul 2020 *Parents Sentenced* #6

Discussion in 'Trials' started by RobinCAL, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Gooner666

    Gooner666 Well-Known Member

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    if don’t think he will hit the 30 years as said just under but I am at a loss as to what she will get, regardless of previous similar cases there are no sentencing guidelines for PTCOJ so she is at the mercy of the judge. her involvement was more than that of Carr, I will hazard a guess at 6-8 years as she has done a year on remand and the judge would be well aware that she had more involvement than she was charged with. That is a top heavy sentence though
     


  2. Raven2019

    Raven2019 Room 213

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    May I be cheeky and ask where this lay-by is please. If its newborough, I'm literally across the road.
     
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  3. Mercsw

    Mercsw Well-Known Member

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    I will need to confirm as I visited two sites but I don’t believe I was in the same place. I checked the lay-bys down by st James near the exotic pet refuge and the nature reserve. I didn’t see fly tipping or a swamp, so not sure where you guys are with the suspect one. I did say I was free to check the sites with some notice, but the original poster didn’t come back to me. Maybe with sentencing due it will start to liven up again
     
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  4. CSIAngus

    CSIAngus Well-Known Member

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    My gut says Life with a minimum 30 years for ScW. I do hope SaW gets the hefty side of the PTCoJ sentence as she clearly went beyond just telling a lie but was an essential willing component in the cover up. My hope is Life with a minimum of 10 years, but that would be unusual for PTCoJ. Maxine Carr only got 3 and a half years for telling a lie for Huntley but was not involved in a cover up and did not know of Huntley's crime. I still hope she will face a joint enterprise murder charge at some future point.
    I believe there are sentencing guidelines for PTCoJ. They have been discussed in earlier threads with some sleuths speculating that with time served on remand plus automatic release on licence at mid point that SaW could walk from court at sentencing. I think now that she has been found guilty of the higher charges that will be unlikely. For justice for BW, it'll need to be significant time in prison. MOO
     
  5. Gooner666

    Gooner666 Well-Known Member

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    The joint enterprise murder charge should have stuck IMHO and let the jury decide. Which I suspect she would have been found guilty, I don’t understand why they dropped it other than to get one murder conviction out of both SCW/SAW rather than no conviction, was clearly a tactical decision by the CPS.

    I think the Hon Justice McGowan will be conscious she has spent a year on remand and will not let her walk with a time served sentence as she will be aware of the public interest in the case. She could “double sentence” and give say two years suspended sentence for two years with attached orders, (SAW having already swerved the equivalent of a 2 year custodial already then having a suspended hanging over her so double sentenced if you will) I think 6 should be the minimum and likely as she will be aware there was more involvement and she would still have another two years to serve, cannot see it getting to a 10 as you say.

    as for him the minimum tariff for murder is is 15 and it will be a stretch to get him the 30 and more on all charges using the totality principle in sentencing. His deceit and lack of remorse and lies will get him upto the 25 mark and it will be a minimum tariff as well, I suspect she will be scathing of both of them in her sentencing

    there are no formal guidelines for sentencing PTCOJ like other offences from the sentencing council only previous case history
     
  6. Bat23

    Bat23 Active Member

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    I think the joint charge was more difficult in the fact of showing premeditation ( if that’s the right way of putting it) between both Scott and Sarah to fit a narrative and story line which I personally believe was planned between both possibly after Bernadette was send away and early hours the day before without other kids around, the fact Sarah allowed Scott to collect her after what transpired the day before speaks volumes and if she genuinely didn’t believe her and Scott had phoned her to tell her this had happened could she had then in that 9 mins calmed down as am sure most parents would be hysterical and then start to access social media and stuff...

    There for without enough evidence it was more plausible to follow the route they did to ensure everyone they suspect in the case has some charges brought against them.

    Am a firm believer in the truth in court is only the truth to the extent that it can’t be disproven however there may always be more or less in every case.
     
  7. Tortoise

    Tortoise Well-Known Member

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    There's quite a few aggravating features in ScW's conviction. One could argue abduction I think, Bernie's vulnerability, her age, his position of trust, premeditation - I think all the boxes are ticked. I'm hoping for over 30 years.
     
  8. Rosegold68

    Rosegold68 Well-Known Member

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    Yes 30 years plus would be good

    but her….her mother…. She must have seen her deceased daughter? Did she? Did she see her…. If so that, then covering it up… that’s truly wicked
     
  9. Bat23

    Bat23 Active Member

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    Is this decision solely decided by the judge with report ext with no one having prior knowledge of the outcome??

    Simply ask because one of the boys has thrown figures out there one plausible one and one for me would seem laughably high ( even tho I can wish)

    Just making me question what I believed to have known.
     
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  10. Gooner666

    Gooner666 Well-Known Member

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    Yes solely decided by Justice McGowan, however she will be guided by the sentencing guidelines set out by the sentencing council. Sentencing guidelines are quite strict these days that most of the judiciary will arrive at the same sentence give or take a few months (if sentenced to a term of custody in months) or a year or two (if sentenced to a period of custody in years)

    this is because in the ‘old days’ guidelines were very loose and free so a defendant could get say 5 years for an offence in Winchester Crown court but another defendant would get 8 years for the same offence in Liverpool crown court - even though the circumstances of both the offences were identical as well as the defendants history. Some judges back in the day hated burglary and would be harsh sentencing for this offence whereas others wouldn’t be, it was a lottery back then as to what you received and this inevitably led to heaps of cases appealed based in sentence to the CoA.

    So in theory now you should receive effectively the same sentence wherever you are sentenced in the country
     
  11. Tortoise

    Tortoise Well-Known Member

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    I agree they shouldn't have dropped the joint enterprise charge. The jury would still have been able to convict only Scott if they weren't convinced of Sarah's participation, which I know because I was a juror on a joint enterprise murder trial and we acquitted one of the two defendants.

    I still don't understand the CPS decision in this case and it really irks me because I think her betrayal of her own daughter makes her part in it even more egregious than his, and she's basically been rewarded for being deceptive and manipulative. It is devastating on so many levels to see her being sentenced for the wrong crime and the CPS has failed to deliver justice to Bernadette, has failed her siblings and failed to hold Sarah accountable for her scheming and cut throat actions. (All IMO)
     
  12. Gooner666

    Gooner666 Well-Known Member

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    Couldn’t agree more l, I really couldn’t especially in respect of Sarah. I think the CPS went for the safe play of trying to pin it all on him and deffo getting a conviction with their narrative of what happened then possibly have both of them acquitted. They both still would have been found guilty of PTCOJ although that would be hardly any consolation if both found NG on murder.

    wrong decision totally as he would still have been convicted and she would have had to go into the witness box to fight for her life and the truth would have come out them both blaming each other
     
  13. SaintMoore

    SaintMoore Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't it that they chose not to try Sarah for joint enterprise, because if they did and she was found innocent, then it'd somehow ruin CPS chances of prosecuting her of such in the future when more evidence comes to light?

     
  14. Tortoise

    Tortoise Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so, they can get a new trial after an acquittal if new evidence comes to light.

    see Double Jeopardy (wiki) :Double jeopardy - Wikipedia

    England and Wales
    Double jeopardy has been permitted in England and Wales in certain (exceptional) circumstances since the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

    Post-2003
    Following the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the Macpherson Report recommended that the double jeopardy rule should be abrogated in murder cases, and that it should be possible to subject an acquitted murder suspect to a second trial if "fresh and viable" new evidence later came to light. The Law Commission later added its support to this in its report "Double Jeopardy and Prosecution Appeals" (2001). A parallel report into the criminal justice system by Lord Justice Auld, a past Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales, had also commenced in 1999 and was published as the Auld Report six months after the Law Commission report. It opined that the Law Commission had been unduly cautious by limiting the scope to murder and that "the exceptions should [...] extend to other grave offences punishable with life and/or long terms of imprisonment as Parliament might specify."[35]

    Both Jack Straw (then Home Secretary) and William Hague (then Leader of the Opposition) favoured this measure.[36] These recommendations were implemented—not uncontroversially at the time—within the Criminal Justice Act 2003,[37][38] and this provision came into force in April 2005.[39] It opened certain serious crimes (including murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, armed robbery, and serious drug crimes) to a retrial, regardless of when committed, with two conditions: the retrial must be approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Court of Appeal must agree to quash the original acquittal due to "new and compelling evidence".[40] Then Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald QC, said that he expected no more than a handful of cases to be brought in a year.[41]

    Pressure by Ann Ming, the mother of 1989 murder victim Julie Hogg—whose killer, William Dunlop, was initially acquitted and subsequently confessed—also contributed to the demand for legal change.[41] On 11 September 2006, Dunlop became the first person to be convicted of murder following a prior acquittal for the same crime, in his case his 1991 acquittal of Hogg's murder. Some years later he had confessed to the crime, and was convicted of perjury, but was unable to be retried for the killing itself. The case was re-investigated in early 2005, when the new law came into effect, and his case was referred to the Court of Appeal, in November 2005, for permission for a new trial, which was granted.[41][42][43] Dunlop pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommendation he serve no less than 17 years.[44]

    On 13 December 2010, Mark Weston became the first person to be retried and found guilty of murder by a jury (Dunlop having confessed). In 1996 Weston had been acquitted of the murder of Vikki Thompson at Ascott-under-Wychwood on 12 August 1995, but following the discovery in 2009 of compelling new evidence (Thompson's blood on Weston's boots) he was arrested and tried for a second time. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 13 years.[45]

    In December 2018, convicted paedophile Russell Bishop was also retried and found guilty by a jury for the Babes in the Wood murders of two 9-year-old girls, Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, on 9 October 1986. At the original trial in 1987, a key piece of the prosecution's case rested on the recovery of a discarded blue sweatshirt. Under questioning, Bishop denied that the sweatshirt belonged to him, but his girlfriend, Jennifer Johnson, alleged the clothing was Bishop's, before she changed her story in the trial, telling the jury she had never seen the top before.[46] Attributed to a series of blunders in the prosecution's case, Bishop was acquitted by the jury after two hours of deliberations.[46] Three years later, Bishop was found guilty of the abduction, molestation, and attempted murder of a 7-year-old girl in February 1990.[47] In 2014, re-examined by modern forensics, the sweatshirt contained traces of Bishop's DNA, and also had fibres on it from both of the girls' clothing.[47] Tapings taken from Karen Hadaway's arm also yielded traces of Bishop's DNA.[47] At the 2018 trial, a jury of seven men and five women returned a guilty verdict after two-and-a-half hours of deliberation.[46][47]

    On 14 November 2019, Michael Weir became the first person to be twice found guilty of a murder. He was originally convicted of the murder of Leonard Harris and Rose Seferian in 1999, but the conviction was quashed in 2000 by the Court of Appeal on a technicality. In 2018, new DNA evidence had been obtained and palm prints from both murder scenes were matched to Weir. Twenty years after the original conviction, Weir was convicted of the murders for a second time.[3]
     
  15. helenvic

    helenvic Well-Known Member

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    Who is planning to go along to the sentencing on Friday? @MIdge28? I'm wondering whether it is worth my while making the long trip?
     
  16. MissMarbles

    MissMarbles Active Member

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    It would be interesting for someone from here to be able to hear what the judge has to say.
     
  17. helenvic

    helenvic Well-Known Member

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    I have a feeling her summing up will be lengthy. She seemed pretty engaged in this case, and she's taken a couple of months to digest the facts of the perpetrators' backgrounds, histories, etc. before deciding on appropriate sentences.
     
  18. KarenUK

    KarenUK Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of going if not, I have the day off and it's only about an hours drive.
     
  19. Bat23

    Bat23 Active Member

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  20. Teeniesmum

    Teeniesmum Active Member

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    interesting in that article that they include Sarah in their investigation to confirm the location of poor Bernadette. Quote below from article. They must believe that Sarah had far more involvement than she was tried for :(
    Nicola Rice, senior prosecutor from CPS East of England added: “Despite a police investigation and search, Bea’s body has never been recovered. We all hope that one day Scott and Sarah Walker will do the right thing and say where she is in the hope that dignity can be returned to her.”
     

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